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Michael Kihlberg: David against Goliath has a long tradition

To climb up in the trees or stand in the way of the machines are linked happily together with the protests that took shape in the late 1960s. But when the activists in 1971, climbed up in the Kungsträdgårdens elm trees to save them followed a more than century-old tradition.

launched by the american philosopher and naturvetaren Henry Thoreau concept of civil disobedience. Since then the method has been used by human rights defenders such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. And often in miljöstrider, more recently also climate.

Many actions in progress, often for several years. The world record is Swedish; in twenty years, from 1980 to 2000, guarding the people Kynnefjäll in Dalsland, where it was planned a storage for nuclear waste. The protesters won.

the Record of police operations has occurred in several cases. When police officers in the fall, struck against the activists who want to save the Hambachskogen in western Germany it was one of the largest police operations in Germany's modern history.

In the conflict if kraftverksutbyggnaden in the Norwegian Altaälven in the 1970s and 1980s was the police the largest in the country's history. A tenth of the country's police, 600 pieces, was put in.

Despite the protests, was built the power plant.

the ojnare forest on northern Gotland led to the largest deployment to date on the island. Some 60 police officers were shipped over from Stockholm. The demonstrators were fewer in number, about fifty. A significant number were white-haired pensioners, which even the police officers on site commented.

in Addition to activists which perhaps was older and more peaceful, the battle has if Why and Hambachskogarna many similarities. Both are perennial, applies to mines with large open pit and is affecting climate change. On the island of Gotland wanted to Nordkalk to open a new limestone quarry which would be 170 hectares in size, about twice as large as the inner-city Visby. The protesters were concerned about the environment, biodiversity and the water supply would be threatened.

the ojnare forest stands. But still ongoing litigation.

Greta Thunberg skolstrejk is another form of civil disobedience – which, moreover, had global effects. Here, she participates in a demonstration for the climate, Brussels, 21 February. Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

Climate change at the global level is about to significantly reduce emissions, it is more abstract than the trees and rivers and difficult to chain in. Where to take civil disobedience other forms. Greta Thunberg skolstrejk is the most striking example. It has spread throughout the world, in a number of countries on strike, many thousands of people every week.

the primary objective of most actions with civil disobedience so far has been to get those in power to repeal the decision.

Skolstrejken and other klimataktioner want instead to push the politicians to make the decisions, which many times will be uncomfortable.

But the purpose is the same – to attract attention, gain more supporters and increase the pressure on the politicians.

Read also: They live in the tops of the trees – to save the climate

Read also: So started Greta Thunberg, a global climate movement

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